What I’m Eating Lately: Home Cooking Edition


I’ve gotten into an unfortunate habit of eating out. A lot. Not 5-course meals or anything, but $5, $15 there, thanks to the usual suspects: a quick spinach-feta wrap from Starbucks, a last-minute happy hour, you know the drill.

And since I’m neither A) Daddy Warbucks nor B) the next Hilton heiress, it’s time for me to reign that habit in – even just a little. I’ll never apologize for my love of eating out. It’s not just about the food – even though nine times out of ten the food is superb and I think food is something in life that’s justified spending money on. I love going out to eat because it usually means I’m catching up with an old friend, meeting up a group I haven’t seen in awhile, or developing relationships with a new community of people. Restaurants are my happy place! You never go out to eat and then spend the whole time frowning or complaining. You go out and celebrate the present, laugh while you reminisce about the past, or muse about future possibilities. I love the whole idea of it. To me, giving up going out to eat would be sacrificing more than just food – it would be sacrificing time with people I love. And I’m not one to sacrifice that.

That being said, I definitely can wake up 20 minutes earlier and pack a lunch for the day or spend an hour roasting potatoes and veggies to go with a piece of fish. It’s not that hard. So that’s where I want to make a few changes. So for today’s WIAW, it’s more about What I’m Eating Lately: Home Cooking Edition. Otherwise known as “Saving Dough Edition.”


Roasted sweet potato + my South of the Border Frittata


Chicken baked in TJ’s garlic simmering sauce, roated green beans a faux-“fried” crispy potatoes


Veggie sandwich: white bean basil hummus, lettuce/onion/tomato, and a slice of swiss cheese on Ezekiel bread.


Pumpkin oatmeal with chia seeds and topped with crunchy pb


Hickory baked salmon, roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans


Chicken noodle soup (amazing on 18 degree days like today!)


Leftover Lou Malnati’s veggie pizza (parents’ leftovers so it doesn’t count 😉 )


Homemade tuna melt – the worst picture in the history of the world but so, so soooo good


Frozen Grapes


Egg sandwich (deconstructed)


Veggie burger with, you guessed it, roasted potatoes


Hot chocolate with a side of bad TV


PB/banana Skoop protein smoothie


Oriental Chicken – you can find the recipe in my Food section


Pasta with parma rosa sauce, Parmesan cheese, chopped tomato and spinach. Pinot grigio on the side.


Aaaaaand a Reese’s peanut butter cup for good measure 🙂

I think my roasted potato love has hit Arman levels. But hey – they’re one of those foods that tastes oh so bad for you but aren’t at all. It’s like fries, but without the greasy fingers afterwards 🙂

So as you can see, it’s all about a little extra effort/time for me. I really can’t wait until I’m in my own apartment (two weeeeeks!) and I can meal plan again just for myself.


  • How often do you eat at a sit-down restaurant?
  • How many days a week do you find yourself grabbing something quick? i.e. a latte from your local coffee house or a cookie from Potbelly.

Jim Halpert + delicata squash

I’m ashamed of myself for missing yesterday. Mostly because it was this man’s birthday:

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Hello, giggles. We miss you on primetime TV. I’ll be watching It’s Complicated and Something Borrowed in honor of how good he makes 35 look.

And since it’s been awhile since I’ve shared my eats with you, I figured now’s as good a time as ever. I ate by myself at Portillo’s last night and it was liberating. I got to scroll through Instagram and people-watch without any of that pesky conversation to worry about. Other than that it’s been plenty of home-cooked meals, new snacks from TJ’s, and a few outings. A great balance.

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Starbucks still gets a huge % of my paycheck

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Annie’s Organic Mac n Cheese with edamame mixed in

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Lemonade-coconut water — not my favorite but the company dropped samples off at the store and nothing tastes better than free

Delicata squash!!

Delicata squash!!

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$7 taco platter!!! So freaking delicious. Thanks, Theory. I didn’t know you had it in you.

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Oh and $7 margaritas in the city ain’t bad either

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My new nut obsession – must be salted or what’s the point?

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Always a great option for a quick mini-meal from Starbucks

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Fish rice and veggies – ketchup is a veggie right?

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Tuna sandwich + pumpkin cranberry crackers and Laughing Cow

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Portillo’s chopped salad – it just never gets old

Clearly my head wasn’t in the food-photography game this past week. When writer’s block strikes, you get whatever photos I have of my food that I can pass off for an excuse for a post. Bear with me 🙂


  • Do you ever eat alone in restaurants?
  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend?

WIAW: back on that Portillos grind

If I had a dollar for all the times I turned to nachos for meals in the past five weeks I’d have a down payment on a Prius.

But it’s a new week and with my new goals in mind, I’ve started making meals (and, thankfully, worshiping vegetables again).

So without further ado, a day of my (recent) eats:


I’ve downsized my usual breakfast sandwich into an English muffin – it fills me up just the same as a bagel (thanks, protein!) but makes me feel less guilty about the half and half I need (yes, need) in my coffee.

1 egg, 2 tablespoons egg whites, bell peppers, onions, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes and onion powder on an English muffin. It ain’t pretty but it sits in my stomach like a cheesy, delicious rock, so I go with it.


I had a day off yesterday before I started my new job, so lunch was spent at home. My mom and I split a pizza from Trader Joe’s: spinach, feta and mozzarella with greens on the side. Dressing is easy as pie: TJ’s balsamic glaze + olive oil.

IMG_8161In the afternoon I went to my first hot yoga class. Spoiler alert: hot yoga is hard.

IMG_8173Between the heat and my general distaste for water/addiction to coffee, this was no picnic. I had to take a few breaks just to wipe my mat down and guzzle water. Now, let’s call a spade a spade: this was no typical ashtanga session. It was a Sahara bootcamp. 100 degrees of slippery mats and sumo squats. Needless to say I was lightheaded and gasping for air like a fish out of water, but about twenty minutes after I left the building my body was overcome by the inevitable high that can only come from exercise and I basically floated home. Beautiful session, beautiful afternoon.


An unpictured Larabar. Exciting stuff, I know.


Once I was back in the burbs I was about ready to eat my hand. I knew I wanted veggies, as many as I could possibly shovel into my mouth, so I drove straight for the motherland: Portillos.


Good things come to those who wait (and yes, the line is always this long). This is, by far, the biggest thing non-Chicagoans are missing out on. Italian beef, Chicago hot dogs, cheese fries (ooooh the cheese fries), chocolate cake shakes, and the chopped salad. If you locked me in a Portillos for 30 years I wouldn’t even be mad.

IMG_8184Oh my goodness – the closeup is what really does this salad justice. And just so you don’t think I’m too healthy, they serve their salads with a huge chunk of bread which I quickly slathered with butter and demolished. It was all gone in less than 20 minutes and I spent the next thirty lying on the couch in a glorious food coma. Hot yoga makes you hungry, apparently. Or any activity besides Netflix, I guess.



Be still my heart.


  • If you’ve ever visited, did you try Portillos? Have you ever heard of it?
  • What have you been craving this week? Let’s talk food! It’s been too long 🙂

keep calm and run like simba

Hey all!

I hope you had a kickass weekend.  Mine was….busy to say the least, but I like it that way! I ate great food and even got to run outside, so I can’t complain.  The fact that it was warm enough to get outside and pound the pavement got me way too excited for spring, a pretty premature feeling here in Chicagoland according to the weatherman.

But hey, I’ll take what I can get. The only downside was I couldn’t find a headband for the life of me so I looked like Simba by mile four.


One of the most important things I did this weekend was sign up for the Shamrock Shuffle downtown this upcoming Sunday! I was going back and forth about actually running this…call it fear, call it laziness, call it tight-wallet syndrome but I just couldn’t commit. Well I finally bit the bullet yesterday and registered. I’ll be running with my friend Jordan, and with a new playlist and visions of our post-race brunch, I’m confident that I’m going to kick butt.  Here’s to hoping it hits 40 degrees!

In terms of food I’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies and pure sources of protein into my diet in preparation of summer, and I’ve definitely been making some progress! Like we talked about last week, it’s hard to crave veggies in cold weather (unless they’re covered in cheese, of course) but I’ve done a decent job. Not to mention I’m still balancing those healthy choices with things like cheesy chicken quesadillas the size of my head and chocolate. It’s a work in progress.

I have a crazy amount of work to do over the next few days so I’ll be back on Wednesday! But until then, here are a few pictures of my weekend happenings. Have a great Monday! Can you believe it’s almost April? Good lord.


shrimp, jicama, avocado, black beans, queso fresco, corn, peppers, tomatoes and onions


Protein Box from Starbucks


Pounded chicken with a panko/red pepper flake/garlic crust, baked at 400 for 45 minutes. Served with “hot pasta” aka pasta, finger hot peppers, parmesan cheese, olive oil, garlic and salt. Also the smallest glass of wine you’ll ever see



Homemade bran muffins


This was the best thing I saw all weekend. I don’t understand if there’s a cake in there or if m&ms just spill out, but either way, sign me up


  • What was the best thing you did this weekend?
  • What’s your favorite part of spring that you’re looking forward to?


holiday treats and graduation eats

It was a busy weekend full of holiday spirit and family celebrations.

On Saturday Zman and I spent the day walking around the city, enjoying the falling snowflakes and musicians that lined Michigan Avenue with Christmas music. We also ate quite a bit of “comfort food”, aka cheese fries aka crap. But hey, they were delicious and it was just one of those days when you want hot cheese on top of fried potatoes.



All I want for Christmas is YOU:


You would think that two normal-sized human beings wouldn’t each need their own order of cheese fries but you would be wrong. The two of us don’t mess around with food.

After we got home we were chilled to the bone, so we popped in “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and made some hot chocolate.


Trader Joe’s Organic Hot Chocolate packets and Bailey’s topped with whipped cream and mini m&ms. Deeeeeeelicious.

The next day my family and I headed to Milwaukee to see my twin brother graduate from Marquette! Congrats, Steve!


Post-graduation brunch (like we need a real reason to go to brunch):


“Green eggs and ham”: Eggs scrambled with pesto and marscapone cheese plus ham and potatoes. I gave the ham to my dad and doubled up on the potatoes.

In case you suspect that I ate my body weight in butter, cheese, and oil this weekend, remember it’s always possible to balance all that artery-clogging goodness out. I did manage to eat lots of healthy food recently as well:


Summer salad: mixed greens, mandarin orange slices, tomatoes, dried cranberries, blue cheese, walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. A piece of baguette on the side.


Overnight oats: 1/2 cup oatmeal with cinnamon, chia seeds, flax seeds, and peanut butter.


Veggie omelet: two egg omelet with green peppers, onions, and tomatoes, topped with avocado.


Caprese salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Today I did what most people do on Mondays and started out the week with an intense workout. I don’t know about you, but Mondays are when I’m feeling most motivated and I give the best effort.  I’m also the type of person who can’t make a resolution on September 7th or start a cleanse on a Thursday though. I’m just weird about coinciding big changes in my life to beginnings on the calendar (new year, new week, new month, etc.).


I did not, I repeat, did not RX this workout. I started out doing 50 of each but by the time I got to kettlebell swings I was toast. From there I did 25 of everything, replacing the burpees and wall balls with other activities because I’ve had a lot of back pain recently.

Speaking of back pain, today is my first time visiting a chiropractor! I’m pretty nervous but also really excited because I feel like that’s just what I need to get actual answers about what’s causing this back pain. Doctors can only do so much, it seems, and I’m sick of getting a muscle relaxer every time I complain about pain.  We’ll see what happens!


  • Have you seen a chiropractor? Do you “believe” in them, or think they just get you addicted (I’ve heard both ways)?
  • Can you start a new routine on any old day or do you need it to be a new week/month/year like I do?



My Eats Lately

Hey all! Just checking in with a pretty wordless post tonight.  I hope you’re all kicking off the weekend right! Here are some pictures of what I’ve been eating lately. 

“…because sometimes you don’t want to read,

you just want to scroll through pictures of food”









Question: What are you having for your next meal? 🙂